Friday, 24 November 2006

Need a Vacation!


I was sick as a dog these past three days when it suddenly struck me last night that I have been sick a lot these past three months. Sometimes it was hay fever and asthma because of the haze. Sometimes it was because of my sensitive stomach. Sometimes it was a feeling of vertigo, or of plain old dizziness, especially the moment I step into office, or when I am about to leave the office for some event, whether it be a meeting or a mission or seminar.

My dad pointed out to me that it was possibly also a physical manifestation of my stress levels as I had not taken any holiday leave this year at all.

Here are some indicators for Stress
* sleep difficulties
* loss of appetite
* poor concentration or poor memory retention
* performance dip
* uncharacteristic errors or missed deadlines
* anger or tantrums
* violent or anti-social behaviour
* emotional outbursts
* alcohol or drug abuse
* nervous habits

Hmm... I have at least half of these.

And here, interestingly, are some typical causes of stress at work:

* bullying or harassment, by anyone, not necessarily a person's manager
* feeling powerless and uninvolved in determining one's own responsibilities
* continuous unreasonable performance demands
* lack of effective communication and conflict resolution
* lack of job security
* long working hours
* excessive time away from home and family
* office politics and conflict among staff
* a feeling that one's reward reward is not commensurate with one's
responsibility

And I can tick off at least 1/3rd to 1/2 of the above as relevant to my stress levels as well. I think I'm dealing with the stress by internalising everything and trying to be as positive as possible in dealing with all the issues arising at work. I also think before I start popping E and smoking weed while beating up my colleague in the next cubicle, I had better take a break and go for some stress-release vacation.

This means just staying home, vege-ing out, reading my favourite novels, sleeping in with the kitty cats and just generally having a blast doing simply...nothing. Something which I have not been able to do since March of last year for some work-related reasons. I now realise that for the entire 2006, all my absences from work consisted of me falling sick and I have not actually taken a single day's holiday since 2005 Christmas.

It's not that the work is hard or the colleagues horrible. Exactly the opposite actually. It's actually that the clients and their problems can be too much to handle at times. In the line of work I'm in, de-stressing is very important due to the daily emotional baggage our work brings to us. Humanitarian work is not easy at all. Especially in a place where the marginalised and the persecuted are often treated as invisible members of society.

Somehow the blogging's not going so well today.
I will stop here with this thought:
I feel like a lunatic spychotic fig


Much love to you all
Good night.

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